Indiana University Health Bloomington announced this week its plan to relocate and expand the city’s hospital to a new location on the Indiana University campus. The move will result in a combined healthcare and academic facility to meet the increasing demand for the university’s health sciences programs.
Around 1,200 students are enrolled in the health science areas at the Bloomington campus. IU-Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel says she was surprised to learn how many students are studying in the various areas.
“Part of the reason that the health sciences did not feel like such a big part of the campus is because they are so spread out and disaggregated and frankly tucked away,” Robel says. “It was quite stunning when we started pulling it all together and then figuring out how the deep the relationship is with the hospital, how many faculty and researchers there are and frankly how difficult the space issues were for them.”
IU medical sciences, nursing, speech and hearing and social work programs will move to the new facility, which will be built on 75 acres of land at the current IU driving range along State Road 45/46.
“The backdrop for all of this really is our regional planning that is reflective of what the trends are in healthcare,” says Mark Moore, president and CEO of IU Health Bloomington Hospital.
Moore says the hospital has outgrown its current location and the building’s 50 to 60 year infrastructure needs to be updated. This partnership will result in state of the art facilities and opportunities for health sciences students.
“The hospital is the embodiment of where learning takes place and is at its most advanced stage,” says Kosali Simon, health economist and professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. “Having a university and a health care facility partner is just great for both sides.”
The students will get the opportunity to train in a setting in which they will use their skills and the hospital is able to stay on the forefront of development and science.
The collaboration also introduces a number of opportunities for economic development.
“It just broadens the campus dramatically, and when you do that you broaden opportunities greatly as well,” says Lynn Coyne, president of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation and member of the IU Health Bloomington Hospital Board of Directors. “Not just in the number of students and faculty and researchers, but all the spinoffs that occur from that. It’s been very exciting and it’s hard to get your head around all of this.”